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  • Asom

    1. Overview.. 1
    2. Human rights violations by the security forces. 3
    a. Violations of the right to life. 3
    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture. 5
    3. Violation of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs. 5
    a. Violations of the right to life. 6
    b. Kidnappings. 7
    c. Extortions. 7
    d. Infrastructure and economic destruction. 8
    4. Violence against women. 8
    5. Violations of the rights of the tribals. 9
    6. Violations of the prisoners' rights. 9
    7. Judiciary and administration of justice. 10
    8. Repression on the freedom of the press. 10
    9. Status of Assam State Human Rights Commission. 11
    10. Violations of the rights of the child. 12
    a. Trafficking. 12
    b. Children caught in armed conflicts. 12
    c. Juvenile justice. 13
    11. Special focus: Health and starvation. 13


    1. Overview

    Ruled by the Indian National Congress party, the peace process with United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) ended in despair in 2006. The unilateral cessation of hostilities by the Centre in August 2006 and the subsequent reciprocation of the peace overture by the ULFA raised hopes for permanent peace in the State. The People's Consultative Group, the interlocutor for the peace process with the ULFA, pulled out after three rounds of talks.[1] However, the ceasefire with the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) continued.[2]

    According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 242 persons including 164 civilians, 32 security forces and 46 alleged cadres of armed opposition groups (AOGs) were killed in 413 insurgency-related incidents in Asom during 2006 against the killing of 254 persons including 173 civilians, 7 security forces and 74 alleged cadres of AOGs in 398 incidents in the State during 2005.[3] As per the estimates of the State Government, as many as 114 civilians were killed in insurgency-related violence in Asom between May 2006 and 11 December 2006. About 1,214 persons were killed by various AOGs since May 2001. Of these, 1,031 were civilians, 183 security forces personnel and 1,051 alleged members of the AOGs.[4]

    The common people were victims of blatant human rights violations at the hands of the security forces, both the State Police and Central armed forces, in the name of “counter-insurgency operations”. On the night of 25 October 2006,Sanowar Hussain was reportedly beaten to death by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel during a raid at his house in Gouripur town under Dhubri police station in Dhubri district.[5] Many civilians also lost their lives in indiscriminate police firing. On 10 February 2006, at least eight civilians were killed when police opened fire at agitating mob at two places at Kakopathar and Makum in Tinsukia district[6] following the killing of Ajit Mahanta in the custody of the army after being arrested from Kakopathar on 5 February 2006.[7]

    On 5 January 2006, Gauhati High Court directed the Ministry of External Affairs to furnish within two weeks a complete list of persons handed over to Indian authorities by Bhutan after their arrest by the Royal Bhutan Army during ‘Operation All Clear‘ launched in December 2003. The order was issued while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Shyamalee Gogoi alias Jnanama Moran in January 2005 seeking information on the whereabouts of her husband, Punaram Dihingia alias Prakash Gogoi, an ULFA activist who went missing after alleged arrest by the Royal Bhutan Army.[8]

    The AOGs also targeted civilians, including indiscriminate use of explosive devices. As per the records of the State Government, as many as 191 persons were killed and 1,276 were injured in bomb blasts triggered by suspected AOGs in Asom from 2001 to 30 June 2006.[9]

    The condition of the women was deplorable. Asom topped the list of crimes against women in North East India with 6,027 cases being registered with the police in 2005. Of these, only 25 cases were registered under the Immoral Trafficking Act.[10] This is despite the fact that Asom is the transit point of illegal trafficking of hundreds of women and girls to other States of the country.

    The prevalence of traditional evil social practice of “witch-hunting” remained a major problem. According to Criminal Investigation Department of Asom Police, over 50 persons were killed in the last three-and-a-half years in the State on the charges of practicing witchcraft.[11]

    Prisons were overcrowded and the health problems of the prisoners were neglected. Several children were also lodged in different jails of the State.

    2. Human rights violations by the security forces

    The security forces were responsible for serious human rights violations including arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, rape and extrajudicial killings.

    a. Violations of the right to life

    Asian Centre for Human Rights documented several cases of custodial deaths in 2006. The victims included Kamakhya Gupta, resident of Naba Sangha Path, who was killed after being arrested by a patrolling police party from Babupatty area in Dibrugarh district on 15 January 2006;[12] Dhaneswar Puma, a cattle grazer belonging to Tiwa community, who was killed by the army after allegedly picking him up from Lembra village in Karbi Anglong district on 2 February 2006;[13] Ajit Mahanta who was killed in the custody of the army after his arrest from Kakopathar in Tinsukia district on 5 February 2006;[14] and ULFA corporal Puspa Borah who died under mysterious circumstances at Udalgari police station in Udalguri district after he surrendered to the police on 14 May 2006.[15] 

    In the case of Ajit Mahanta, a military court on 24 July 2006 found two soldiers identified as Nishant Sharma and Sudip Gurung guilty of killing Ajit Mahanta. But the punishment given to them was too lenient. While Nishant Sharma was suspended from his service for one year, Sudip Gurung was merely sentenced to two months' rigorous military imprisonment. Besides, the army provided a compensation of only Rs 100,000 ($2,130) to the family of Mr Mahanta.[16]

    In August 2006, the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) ordered the State Government to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of Radheswar Hokai who died at Ulukunchi police station in Karbi Anglong district on 20 August 2004. AHRC also awarded compensations of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 70,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively to the next of kin of three victims namely Tong Mithi, En Lumphoi and Khanmar Pumah who died in police firing while protesting against the custodial death of Radheswar Hokai.[17]

    The police continued to use firearms indiscriminately against civilians. Many civilians fell to police bullets while exercising their fundamental right to protest against injustice and illegal activities of the security forces. The incidents of killing in police firing included killing of at least eight civilians at Kakopathar and Makum in Tinsukia district on 10 February 2006;[18] killing of a youth at Panigaon in North Lakhimpur on 22 March 2006;[19] killing of three persons including two school children at Moirabari in Morigaon district on 18 November 2006;[20] and killing of Tabibor Rahman in police firing at Rangiya in Kamrup district on the night of 4 October 2006.[21]

    Other victims of alleged extrajudicial killing included Kartik Banik, a trader, who was killed by Inspector NA Laskar of Railway Protection Force near a railway crossing gate in Badarpur on the night of 8 February 2006;[22] Riten Karmakar who was killed in Golaghat district on 16 July 2006;[23] Sanowar Hussain who was allegedly beaten to death by the CRPF personnel during a raid at his house in Gouripur town under Dhubri police station in Dhubri district on the night of 25 October 2006.[24]

    Often, justice was too slow to come for the victims. On 24 November 2006, the Gauhati High Court while responding to a writ petition ordered a judicial enquiry by the District Judge of Sonitpur into the police firing at Rangapara in Sonitpur district on 17 October 2000. On that day, three persons identified as Sanjib Dey, Nitai Bardhan and Mansha Singh were killed and several others injured when police fired indiscriminately at a mass gathering.[25]

    The KN Saikia Commission, probing the “secret killings” which took place between 1999 and 2001, submitted its final report on seven cases to the State Government on 7 September 2006. The cases included killing of Mithinga Daimary's family members; killing of Dijen Haloi and Phulen Haloi; killing of Deepak Choudhury (brother of ULFA leader Sasa Choudhury); killing of Jyotish Sarma; killing of Dimba Rajkhowa (brother of ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa); killing of Rajesh Mishra and Rajib Mishra of Tezpur and kidnapping of Ananta Kalita of Hajo. Earlier, the controversial “secret killings” were probed by J N Sarma Commission whose report was rejected by the State Government as it failed to indict any political figure in the killings.[26]

    On 5 December 2006, the Guwahati High Court, following a writ petition filed by former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta challenging the legality of the Justice KN Saikia Commission investigating the secret killings, issued notices to the Asom Government, the probe panel and the State Assembly asking them to file their replies before 18 December 2006.[27]

    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture

    Torture was common during detention. Some of the cases of arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture documented by Asian Centre for Human Rights included arrest of seven youths from Nalbari who were handcuffed and tied with ropes by police when they went for a picnic in Guwahati in January 2006;[28] injuries to at least 20 people, nine of them critically, when personnel of 50 Border Security Force in their civvies beat up people including pilgrims, women and children at the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati on 29 January 2006;[29] playwright Anup Mazumdar and teacher Munindra Dutta who were illegally arrested by Superintendent of Police, Dilip Kumar Dey from Barama in Nalbari district on the night of 13 August 2006;[30] and Rajesh Naiding who was beaten up by two policemen identified as Mosses Tokbi and Rothikanta Barman at Sainza Razi in Halflong of North Cachar Hills district on 11 August 2006.[31]

    Innocent civilians were arrested and tortured by the security forces during cordon and search operations. The victims included Paban Gogoi, a student of Class VIII, who was arrested by the army after they failed to trace his brother, an alleged member of an AOG at Rajgarh-Rongabonani area in Dibrugarh district on the night of 20 January 2006;[32] Dhiraj Senapati and Bibhuti Gohain who were tortured by the army during an operation at Jeraigaon in Dibrugarh district on 30 January 2006;[33] Manjit Sahu who was picked up by the Assam Rifles personnel for having alleged links with ULFA at Bhogdoi area in Jorhat district on 28 March 2006;[34] Madhurjya Gogoi who was tortured after being picked up by the Assam Rifles personnel from the Bhogdoi Bridge in Jorhat on 28 February 2006[35] and Nipul Saikia, a farmer, who was allegedly given third-degree torture including electric shocks by the personnel of 11th Guards Regiment after his arrest on the suspicion of having links with the ULFA in Dibrugarh district on 9 October 2006.[36]

    3. Violation of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs

    The armed opposition groups (AOGs) were responsible for gross violations of international humanitarian laws especially by targeting the civilians through explosive devices. As per records of the State Government, as many as 191 persons were killed and 1,276 were injured in bomb blasts triggered off by alleged AOGs in the State from the year 2001 to 30 June 2006. As many as 1,536 civilians were killed in armed conflict-related violence during the same period.[37]

    a. Violations of the right to life

    The AOGs were responsible for indiscriminate killings of civilians. The victims included Chand Md Ali, former president of Nalbari block Congress by suspected NDFB cadres at Burinagar in Nalbari district on 5 January 2006;[38] Kamal Ali who was killed when suspected ULFA cadres lobbed a grenade in front of the Police Reserve in the Lakhtokia area in Guwahati on 22 January 2006;[39] Lolit Moran and Momi Moran, both surrendered ULFA cadres, who were killed by alleged ULFA cadres at Gotong village under Doomdooma police station in Tinsukia district on the night of 21 April 2006;[40] killing of five persons including a 10-year-old child in a suspected ULFA-triggered blast at a vegetable market in Guwahati on 9 June 2006;[41] Phani Talukdar who was killed in a suspected ULFA-triggered attack at the Ganesguri flyover in Guwahati on 10 June 2006;[42] Shiv Shankar Verma and Monoj Gogoi who were killed in a blast at Bazar Chariali in Digboi in Tinsukia district on 12 June 2006;[43] three persons including two women and a child who were killed in a suspected Dima Haolam Daoga-triggered grenade blast at Maibong railway station in North Cachar district on 26 July 2006;[44] Harendranath Das, a tea estate manager, who was killed by alleged ULFA cadres in Tinsukia district in September 2006;[45] Om Prakash Agarwalla, a grocery shop owner, who was killed by the suspected ULFA cadres at his residence at Shingrijan Tea Estate in Sivasagar district on 15 October 2006;[46] Kamal Hazarika, a surrendered ULFA activist, who was killed by suspected ULFA cadres at Borabhayapuri under Tengakhat police station in Dibrugarh district on 19 October 2006;[47] Ghanashyam Das who was killed by suspected ULFA cadres at Kulhati Chatrashal under Hajo police station in Kamrup district on 8 November 2006;[48] three persons of a Hindi-speaking family identified as Vinay Chauhan, his wife Reena and their two-year-old son Uday who were killed in a suspected ULFA-triggered bomb explosion in front of the Guwahati railway station on 23 November 2006[49] and Pawan Kumar Nawal, a shop keeper who was killed by suspected ULFA cadres at Beltola area in Guwahati on 21 December 2006.[50]

    b. Kidnappings

    The AOGs carried out several kidnappings of civilians often demanding ransom. Failure to meet their demands resulted in killing of the hostages. One Lilakanta Deuri, manager of Panigaon-based Suwansiri Gaonlia Bank, was killed by unidentified men after being kidnapped while on his way to the office near Tarajuli in Lakhimpur on 2 January 2006.[51]

    Others who were kidnapped during 2006 included Suren Das, the chief engineer of the Public Work Department's national highway division by alleged ULFA cadres from his rented house at Nizarapar in Guwahati on 9 March 2006;[52] kidnapping of at least 10 villagers by the suspected cadres of United Democratic Liberation Army from Killarbag village under Katlichera police station in West Hailakandi  on the night of 7 August 2006;[53] Lantuk Phangcho, a senior CPI (M-L) leader, who was kidnapped by unidentified men from Umrangshu in the North Cachar Hills while he was going to attend a party meeting on 22 October 2006;[54]Chanchal Modak, managing director of the Gamaria rubber plantation, who was abducted by unidentified men from his house at Ramkrishnanagar town in Karimganj district on 4 December 2006;[55] and M. Ganeshan, an engineer with the Border Roads Organisation, who was kidnapped by unidentified men from Gitibari under Paneri police station of Udalguri district on 22 December 2006.[56]

    c. Extortions

    Besides abductions for ransom, the AOGs also were responsible for extortions. There were 27 cases lodged against NDFB cadres for extorting money after signing of the ceasefire pact as on 30 June 2006.[57] In January 2006, the NDFB allegedly demanded money ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 from villagers in Nagaon district. The extortion demand notes allegedly urged the villagers to “take part in the peace process between the NDFB and the Government of India by donating money to the revolutionary treasury of NDFB”.[58]

    In January 2006, ULFA allegedly served an extortion notice of Rs. 500 crore to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) located at Nazira in Sivasagar district.[59] On 3 July 2006, the ULFA demanded an extortion of Rs 15 lakh from the Regional Director of the Reserve Bank of India in Guwahati.[60] In September 2006, ULFA allegedly served an extortion notice to Nagrijuli Tea Estate in Baksa district demanding Rs 1 crore.[61]

    Those killed for allegedly failing to meet extortion demands included businessman Ghanshyam Jojo in Dhemaji district on 14 October 2006[62] and businessman Jayanta Dey on 27 October 2006 in Tinsukia district.[63]

    On 1 June 2006, two Kuki National Front (Military Council) cadres identified as Paumangcha Thangeu and Lalsemthang Lintheng were arrested by police when they allegedly came to collect extortion money from a shop in Haflong.[64]

    d. Infrastructure and economic destruction

    The ULFA cadres were responsible for the destruction of public properties and infrastructure. They especially targeted the oil reserves of the State. Alleged ULFA cadres, among others, blew up two gas pipelines at Chetiapathar and Bokulia Chariali in Dibrugarh district on 22 January 2006,[65] two gas pipelines and two crude oil pipelines at Duliajan in Dibrugarh district on 9 June 2006,[66] a portion of the main Guwahati-Dibrugarh railway track between Sapekhati and Borhat in Sibsagar district on 11 June 2006,[67] a natural gas pipeline in Dibrugarh district on 11 November 2006,[68] and an oil pipeline of Oil India Limited in Tinsukia district on 12 November 2006.[69]

    4. Violence against women 

    Asom topped the list of crimes against women in North East India with 6,027 cases being registered with the police in 2005. Of these, 25 cases were registered under the Immoral Trafficking Act.[70]

    On 12 October 2006, an army jawan identified as Havildar Sukjan Singh from the 62nd Mountain Brigade based at Hatighar was arrested on the charges of molesting two girls in an inebriated condition at Harisingha in Kokrajhar district.[71]

    Women were often targeted as witches. According to the Criminal Investigation Department of Asom Police, over 50 persons were killed in the last three-and-a-half years on charges of practicing witchcraft. Five persons were killed in 2003, while the number increased to eight in 2004 and to 23 in 2005. More than 20 persons were killed during 1 January - 23 August 2006.[72]

    On the night of 4 January 2006, an aged woman identified as Durgi Soren was killed by villagers including one Shyam Tudu on the suspicion of practicing witchcraft at Pakhihaga village under Gossaigaon police station.[73] On 18 March 2006, five persons of a family including Amir Munda and his children were reportedly beheaded in full public view after a public trial found them guilty of allegedly practicing witchcraft at the Sadharu tea plantation in Sonitpur district.[74] On 21 August 2006, five persons were killed in two separate incidents for allegedly practicing witchcraft in Kokrajhar district.[75]

    5. Violations of the rights of the tribals

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 216 cases of violations of the rights of the tribals in Asom during 2005. These included 23 murder cases, 19 rape cases, 21 kidnapping cases, 5 arson, 63 hurt, etc. However, no case was registered under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

    The plight of the tribals continued to be ignored in three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. The State Government failed to contain the influx of non-tribals in these districts. False and fabricated cases were lodged against the tribals with a view to grab their lands. Encroachment into forest land by non-tribals continued unabated with the alleged support of politicians and authorities concerned.[76]

    There was huge number of backlog posts reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in various departments of the State Government for years. The backlog posts in various categories reportedly went up to 50,000 in the state. In May 2005, the State Government assured the All Assam SC and ST Unemployed Association in writing (vide letter No TAD/BC/186/2002/165 dated May 17, 2005) that it would fill up at least 1,000 backlog posts. But the assurance was not fulfilled.[77]

    6. Violations of the prisoners' rights

    Jails were overcrowded in Asom. By July 2006, the Guwahati jail had as many as 867 prisoners against the total capacity of 507 prisoners.[78] Similarly, the Nagaon jail housed 250 inmates against its capacity for 125 inmates, while the Barpeta jail had 221 inmates against the capacity of 134 inmates as of June 2006.[79]

    The members of AOGs were allegedly denied proper treatment. In early June 2006, the Assam Human Rights Commission sought a detailed report from the Director General of Police with regard to the imprisoned ULFA activist Prasanna Phukan alias Jogeswar Gogoi who was reportedly losing eyesight due to the lack of treatment.[80]

    The State Government even failed to recruit warders in the State jails. More than 120 posts of wardens were lying vacant in different jails of the State as of June 2006. The warder-inmate ratio was 1:65 as against the normal ratio of 1:11.[81]

    7. Judiciary and administration of justice

    As on 1 October 2006, there were 10 vacancies in the Gauhati High Court.[82] The vacancies decreased to 5 in the High Court by the end of 2006.[83] The number of vacancies in the District and Subordinate Courts was 42 as on 30 September 2006. There were 59,543 cases pending with the Gauhati High Court while there were 17,8,516 cases pending with the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006.[84]

    On 9 January 2006, the Supreme Court ordered the Asom Government to pay Rs 3,00,000 as compensation as well as a monthly stipend to 77-year-old Machal Lalung who languished at Tezpur mental hospital for 54 years without any trial in court. Mr Lalung was released from the mental hospital in July 2005 following the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission.[85]

    8. Repression on the freedom of the press

    The press came under scathing attack for its activism. While in some cases, the hands of AOGs were suspected; in most cases the perpetrators remained “unidenti-fied”. On 6 January 2006, Prahlad Goala of Assamese daily Asomiya Khabar was killed by unidentified persons at Thuramukh in Golaghat town. The deceased had reported on illegal felling of trees in Nambor forest range. The police arrested the ranger KZ Zaman of Nambor reserved forest in connection with the killing.[86]

    Journalists were victims of physical attacks. On the night of 1 January 2006, four unidentified men reportedly attacked the house of P Brahma Chowdhury, correspondent of The Telegraph in Kokrajhar. Two members of his family were injured and properties were damaged.[87]

    On 25 May 2006, unidentified men ransacked the house of journalist Mohommed Jainul Abedin of The Assam Tribune in Gossaigaon.[88]

    On 8 June 2006, ULFA allegedly  issued threats to four Guwahati-based journalists including D N Bezboruah, former editor of The Sentinel and Prasanta Rajguru, executive editor of Amar Asom  for allegedly “working against the interest of the people of Assam and attempting to scuttle the ULFA peace talks with the Centre”.[89]

    The journalists also came under attacks from the police and other government servants. On 17 February 2006, two journalists - Robin Dhekial Phukan of Asomiya Pratidin and Parag Bhuyan of Dainik Janambhumi were assaulted by police while covering the visit of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at Kakopathar in Tinsukia district.[90]

    On 21 February 2006, the postmaster of the Sivasagar Post Office snatched the camera of a local journalist and assaulted him when some journalists went to the post office to inquire about the slow postal service. The postmaster also called the police and handed over the journalist to them on the charges that he was creating disturbance inside the post office. When some other local journalists went to the post office to inquire about the whole incident, the post master again assaulted at least two of them. Later the journalists filed an FIR against the postmaster in Sivasagar police station.[91]

    9. Status of Assam State Human Rights Commission

    The Assam State Human Rights Commission (AHRC) continued to be ineffective and its recommendations were often ignored by the State Government.

    However, in February 2006, the AHRC registered a number of cases against the State administration and sought reports from the authorities concerned within the stipulated time frame. The Commission registered the cases after receiving a complaint from All Assam Students' Union (AASU) regarding non action against the police personnel who were allegedly involved in torture of Hitendera Nath Neog of Rangdoi village in Jorhat district on 24 January 2006 with the alleged intention of killing him. The Commission registered a case (AHRC Case No. 5900/2006) on 1 February 2006.[92]

    In some cases the AHRC directed the State Government to pay compensation to next of kin of custodial death victims. In February 2006, the AHRC ordered the State Government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 50,000 to the next of kin of Safiquiddin who died on 19 April 2004 following torture while in judicial custody.[93]

    On 26 December 2006, the AHRC following a complaint petition ordered a compensation of Rs one lakh to the next of kin of Dwipen Bayan of Udalguri who died in police custody on 26 January 2005. The petition was filed by the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti.[94]

    10. Violations of the rights of the child


    a. Trafficking

    Asom continued to be the major source and transit point for trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual and other forms of exploitation. According to records of Asom Police, the number of missing women and girls were 268 and 319 respectively in 2005.[95] On an average, 250 female adults and 200 minor girls go missing from Asom every year.

    Combating human trafficking has taken a back seat as the security forces were more occupied with law and order problems, specifically anti-insurgency operations. About 268 female adults and 319 minors were registered to be missing as of October in 2006. According to Kokrajhar-based NEDAN Foundation, 107 young women were found missing from IDP camps in Kokrajhar district.[96] These teenaged girls were trafficked to States like Haryana and Punjab for “sexual slavery”. Less than 50 per cent could be traced. However, there was no adequate rehabilitation mechanism for the rescued women and children in the State.[97]

    b. Children caught in armed conflicts

    Children were also used by armed opposition groups. The All Assam Tai Ahom Students' Union (AATASU) alleged that ULFA was allegedly using students and children as combatants.[98]

    Children were also victims of atrocities during army operations. On 8 November 2006, a five-year-old boy Debojit Moran was killed and his elder sister Gitanjali Moran sustained serious injuries when personnel of the 19th Kumaon Regiment opened fire at some alleged ULFA cadres when they were trying to escape at Mohong village under Pengeree police station in Tinsukia district.[99] Earlier on 27 October 2006, a 14-year-old girl Suruni Rajiyung, daughter of Bojendra Rajiyung, was allegedly picked up by the security personnel led by Major Dayamoni Sukla without any reason from her house at Harangajao in North Cachar Hills.[100]

    c. Juvenile justice

    According to a survey conducted by Legal Assistance Forum, hundreds of children had been passing harrowing days at Observation Homes in different districts of the State. There were 78 juveniles lodged at the Observation Home at Fatasil Ambari as on 20 December 2006. Of these, 51 juveniles were lodged after having acted in conflict with law, while 27 were those neglected by the society. Most of the children were infected with skin diseases like mollascum contagious, scabies, worms and anaemia. About 51 juveniles were forced to sleep in a room which could accommodate only 10-15 persons. Besides, there was no attached urinal and the juveniles had to use a basket kept exclusively for the purpose or opt for the window. The situation turned even worse during summer.[101]

    There were more than 20 children, aged between four and 12 years, lodged in different jails in Asom as on 11 June 2006. Their only crime was that they were children of members of the AOGs. They were imprisoned along with their mothers during anti-insurgency operation by Bhutan Government in December 2003. The children were reportedly deprived of the basic right to education in the jails.[102]

    11. Special focus: Health and starvation

    Malaria was common especially in remote areas. On 13 April 2006, the AHRC sought a detailed report from the Director of Health Service following reports of deaths due to sudden outbreak of malaria in Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Sonitpur and Goalpara districts. According to media reports, more than 1,000 persons including women and children died in the four districts.[103] In addition, at least 20 people including children reportedly died due to malaria in Hamrem subdivision of Karbi Anglong district.[104]

    The condition of tea workers remained deplorable in Asom. The tea workers were denied basic facilities including potable water. The garden hospitals had shortage of doctors and medicines.[105] According to a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research, 72 per cent of the tea labourers were anaemic while 70 per cent were victims of malnutrition. Over 65 per cent were suffering from diseases like diarrhoea and tuberculosis and about 60 per cent of labourers were alcoholics.[106] In February 2006, a three-year-old Shibani, daughter of tea worker Haradan Kalindi, reportedly died due to lack of food and want of medical attention at Roopacherra tea estate in Hailakandi district.[107]

    Extreme poverty often forced women to sell their children. On 28 November 2006, a poverty stricken woman identified as Kalpana Das, wife of a cart-puller Niranjan Das of Bajimara Valley in Cachar district, reportedly sold her newborn daughter for Rs 700 to another woman barely three days after the baby was born at the Silchar Medical College Hospital.[108]



    [1]. 2006 AT A GLANCE, The Telegraph, 30 December 2006

    [2]. Centre-Bodo ceasefire extended by 6 months, The Asian Age, 28 May 2006

    [3]. 2006-2007 Annual Report of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

    [4]. 2nd term: 114 civilians killed so far, The Indian Express, 12 December 2006

    [5]. Tension over youth's death, The Telegraph, 28 October 2006

    [6]. Sonia promises action against guilty Army men in Assam, The Hitavada, 13 February 2006

    [7]. 2 Armymen removed after custody death, The Statesman, 9 February 2006 

    [8]. High court whip on missing Ulfa rebels, The Telegraph, 6 January 2006

    [9]. 191 killed, 1,276 hurt in blasts since 2001, The Assam Tribune, 11 July 2006 

    [10]. Plan to curb trafficking, The Telegraph, 22 November 2006 

    [11]. Over 50 killed in last three years, The Assam Tribune, 23 August 2006

    [12]. Sensation over youth's death in police custody, The Sentinel, 17 January 2006 

    [13]. 2 Army officers relieved of responsibilities, The Hindu, 9 February 2006

    [14]. 2 Armymen removed after custody death, The Statesman, 9 February 2006 

    [15]. Judicial probe into ULFA man's death demanded, The Assam Tribune, 29 May 2006

    [16]. Indian army punishes two soldiers, BBC News, 25 July 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5212226.stm

    [17]. AHRC orders compensation, The Assam Tribune, 11 August 2006 

    [18]. Sonia promises action against guilty Army men in Assam, The Hitavada, 13 February 2006

    [19]. Army deployed in N Lakhimpur, The Assam Tribune, 24 March 2006

    [20]. Cop named 'villain' in mob frenzy, The Telegraph, 20 November 2006 

    [21]. One killed in Rangiya firing, The Assam Tribune, 6 October 2006 

    [22]. Trader shot dead by RPF at Badarpur, The Assam Tribune, 10 February 2006 

    [23]. Golaghat bandh today - ATTSA to move AHRC over killing, The Sentinel, 20 July 2006

    [24]. Tension over youth's death, The Telegraph, 28 October 2006

    [25]. HC orders probe into Rangapara police firing, The Assam Tribune, 25 November 2006 

    [26]. KN Saikia submits his first report, The Sentinel, 9 September 2006

    [27]. HC glare on Saikia panel, The Telegraph, 6 December 2006

    [28]. AHRC seeks DGP report on arrests, The Sentinel, 27 January 2006 

    [29]. BSF jawans go berserk at Kamakhya, 20 hurt, The Sentinel, 30 January 2006

    [30]. Police atrocities in Nalbari flayed, The Assam Tribune, 19 August 2006 

    [31]. Student bodies submit memo to DC over police 'atrocity', The Sentinel, 19 August 2006

    [32]. Protest over detention of student by Army - Dibrugarh Round-up, The Sentinel, 27 January 2006 

    [33]. Heat on army in Ulfa hub, The Telegraph, 1 February 2006

    [34]. AR 'abduction' - Case registered in Jorhat PS, The Sentinel, 2 March 2006 

    [35]. Torture tale puts force in trouble, The Telegraph, 6 March 2006 

    [36]. Army admits torturing ULFA suspect in Assam, The Times of India, 14 October 2006 

    [37]. 191 killed, 1,276 hurt in blasts since 2001, The Assam Tribune, 11 July 2006 

    [38]. Cong leader killed, The Sentinel, 6 January 2006 

    [39]. 1 killed, 8 hurt in city strikes, The Assam Tribune, 23 January 2006 

    [40]. Sulfa couple killed, The Telegraph, 23 April 2006 

    [41]. 5 killed, 13 hurt in Guwahati explosion, The Asian Age, 10 June 2006 

    [42]. More blasts rock Assam, The Hindustan Times, 11 June 2006 

    [43]. Heat on Ulfa in home stretch - Lakhipathar revolts over youth's death in blast, The Telegraph, 16 June 2006 

    [44]. 3 killed in Maibong rly station blast, The Assam Tribune, 27 July 2006 

    [45]. Of Extortions And The State, The Sentinel, 25 September 2006 

    [46]. ULFA kills Sivasagar trader, The Sentinel, 16 October 2006 

    [47]. SULFA man shot dead, The Sentinel, 19 October 2006 

    [48]. Rebels gun down shop employee, The Telegraph, 9 November 2006 

    [49]. Three killed in Guwahati blast, The Hindustan Times, 24 November 2006 

    [50]. 1 dead, 10 hurt in Ulfa attack, The Asian Age, 22 December 2006 

    [51]. Sensation over Deuri's killing, The Sentinel, 6 January 2006

    [52]. Freedom fails to save kidnapped engineer, The Telegraph, 4 May 2006 

    [53]. Riang ultras kidnap 10 villagers in Hailakandi, The Sentinel, 9 August 2006 

    [54]. Leftist leader in rebel trap - Assam Rifles arrests 12 DHD activists, The Telegraph, 24 October 2006 

    [55]. Assam executive abducted, The Telegraph, 6 December 2006 

    [56]. Dispur glare on BRO kidnap drama, The Telegraph, 30 December 2006 

    [57]. 191 killed, 1,276 hurt in blasts since 2001, The Assam Tribune, 11 July 2006 

    [58]. Villagers' SOS on extortion  - Bhojpuris seek Dispur shield against Bodo rebel harassment, The Telegraph, 17 January 2006 

    [59]. State Govt intimated - ULFA serves Rs 500-crore 'notice' to ONGC, The Sentinel, 17 January 2006 

    [60]. ULFA serves extortion note on RBI director, The Assam Tribune, 7 July 2006

    [61]. Extortion notice, The Deccan Herald, 20 September 2006 

    [62]. Trader killed for refusing extortion, The Asian Age, 15 October 2006 

    [63]. Businessman shot dead by ULFA in Assam, The Times of India, 27 October 2006 

    [64]. Extortion triggers panic in hills, The Telegraph, 3 June 2006 

    [65]. Serial blasts rattle State - ULFA punches holes in Assam security shield, The Sentinel, 23 January 2006 

    [66]. Gas pipelines blown up in Assam blasts, The Times of India, 10 June 2006 

    [67]. Fourth day of violence, ULFA blows up railway track, The Indian Express, 12 June 2006

    [68]. Landmine, gas pipeline blasts by Ulfa in Assam, The Asian Age, 13 November 2006 

    [69]. Landmine, gas pipeline blasts by Ulfa in Assam, The Asian Age, 13 November 2006 

    [70]. Plan to curb trafficking, The Telegraph, 22 November 2006 

    [71]. Jawan held, The Telegraph, 13 October 2006 

    [72]. Over 50 killed in last three years, The Assam Tribune, 23 August 2006 

    [73]. Woman hacked to death, The Assam Tribune, 7 January 2006 

    [74]. Five beheaded in Assam over witchcraft, The Pioneer, 20 March 2006

    [75]. Over 50 killed in last three years, The Assam Tribune, 23 August 2006 

    [76]. 'Protect rights of tribals of Barak Valley', The Assam Tribune, 20 June 2006 

    [77]. Body moves minister - SC/ST backlog posts, The Sentinel, 21 June 2006

    [78]. 191 killed, 1,276 hurt in blasts since 2001, The Assam Tribune, 11 July 2006 

    [79]. Inmate – warder ration on the rise in Asom jails, The Sentinel, 26 June 2006 

    [80]. AHRC seeks report from DGP, The Sentinel, 5 June 2006 

    [81]. Inmate-warder ratio on the rise in Asom jails, The Sentinel, 26 June 2006 

    [82]. Court News, July-September 2006, Supreme Court of India

    [83]. Court News, October-December 2006, Supreme Court of India

    [84]. Court News, October-December 2006, Supreme Court of India

    [85]. Man compensated after 54 years in mental hospital, The Shillong Times, 10 January 2006 

    [86]. Ranger held for killing scribe, The Indian Express, 11 January 2006 

    [87]. Attack on Kokrajhar scribe home, The Telegraph, 3 January 2006 

    [88]. Measures to safeguard journalists' rights demanded - Alleged attack on scribe's house flayed, The Sentinel, 5 June 2006 

    [89]. Media gag must go, journalists tell ULFA, The Indian Express, 15 June 2006 

    [90]. Attack on journalists on rise in Northeast, The Pioneer, 18 February 2006 

    [91]. Scribe assaulted, FIR filed, The Sentinel, 25 February 2006

    [92]. AHRC registers cases against State admin, The Sentinel, 23 February 2006 

    [93]. AHRC tell Govt to compensate, The Sentinel, 18 February 2006 

    [94]. AHRC orders Rs 1 lakh as compensation, The Assam Tribune, 28 December 2006 

    [95]. Cop tough talk on trafficking, The Telegraph, 26 October 2006 

    [96]. Insurgency hits anti-trafficking operations of police', The Sentinel, 28 October 2006 

    [97]. 7000 female, girl child missing in last 10 years in State, The Assam Tribune, 28 December 2006 

    [98]. ULFA draws flak - Using students and children in armed struggle, The Sentinel, 18 October 2006 

    [99]. Child killed in Army firing, The Assam Tribune, 9 November 2006

    [100]. Dimasa students' stir threat over missing girl, The Assam Tribune, 31 October 2006 

    [101]. Frame rules of juvenile Act: HC - In city observation home, juveniles left in lurch, The Sentinel, 21 December 2006

    [102]. Ray of hope for ULFA kids in jail, The Tribune, 11 June 2006 

    [103]. AHRC pulls up government on malaria death, The Sentinel, 14 April 2006

    [104]. Malaria claims 20 in Karbi Anglong, The Assam Tribune, 27 April 2006 

    [105]. MP laments deplorable condition of tea workers, The Sentinel, 31 January 2006 

    [106]. Cup of woes for tea workers, The Hindustan Times, 12 December 2006 

    [107]. 'Hunger' death triggers defiance of tea lockout, The Telegraph, 10 February 2006 

    [108]. Assam woman sells newborn for Rs 700, The Asian Age, 4 December 2006 

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